Your skin is already highly delicate and sensitive, so if you’re considering having a tattoo or have recently had one, then there are a number of things you will need to do; to help ensure your skin is protected and cared for.
Below we’ll cover a simple 10 step guide of how to care for your tattoo and skin after the procedure has been completed. At MI Tattoo Studios, their team provides expert aftercare advice after all tattoo work is carried out.
10 Step Tattoo Aftercare Guide
Once the tattoo has been completed, it will be bandaged/wrapped. The wrap is designed to help prevent any dirt from contaminating the tattoo; between you leaving the studio and travelling home. Most wraps should be kept on the tattoo for up to 4 hours, however, the tattoo artist will give you a precise time based on the type of tattoo you have. The length of time can vary depending on the size of the tattoo and where on the body it is placed.
2. Cleaning Your Tattoo
Upon removing your bandage or wrap, then the next step is to wash the tattoo. You should wash your hands thoroughly before removing the dressing, using only warm water and a perfume-free soap.
Once your hands are clean you can remove the dressing and once again water and soap should be used to remove any dried blood or plasma; this should be done gently to prevent any marking or scarring on the tattoo.
3. Drying The Tattoo
Once you have cleaned the tattoo and the skin around it, then it will need to dry. Drying should be carried out using a paper towel or kitchen towel and the area of skin should only be patted dry and not rubbed. Once the area has been patted clean, you should allow the air at it for around 30 minutes.
4. Applying Lotion
If you have cleaned the tattoo, then you need to apply a small amount of lotion over the tattoo and the surrounding skin. There are a number of lotions and moisturisers you can use for a tattoo and your tattoo artist might recommend a specific type or you can freely purchase these from any studio or chemist.
In addition to dedicated tattoo creams, you can also use fragrance-free nourishing creams such as nappy cream or vaseline.
5. Regular Cleaning
It’s important to remember that cleaning isn’t a one time thing, your tattoo and the surrounding skin should be cared for regularly. It is recommended to wash and moisturise your tattoo at least twice a day to help it remain clean and to support the healing process.
6. Don’t Pick
During the healing process your skin will change and will likely peel and scab, it’s important to remember not to touch this. Allow the skin to heal naturally or you could cause damage to the tattooed area and scarring to the skin itself. Picking the skin can lead to an increased risk of infection.
The process of cleaning and moisturising should be carried out regularly to prevent any infections and to support the healing process. One of the most important things to remember is the tattoo and skin needs to be protected from germs and bacteria. Tattoos can take up to 4 weeks to fully reheal.
8. Avoid The Sun
While your skin is healing it is important to keep it away from any direct sunlight or UV lights such as sunbeds. If you are out in the sun regularly due to work or for some other reason, then you should aim to keep the tattooed area covered.
It’s also important to remember you can’t use sun lotions over the affected area of skin until the tattoo has fully healed.
9. Stay Away From Water
Similar to recovering from surgery, you should avoid water until the area is fully healed. The recommendation is to take strip washes or quick showers whenever possible and you should avoid long soaks in the bath.
You should also avoid other bodies of water such as swimming pools, as the chemicals can also have an adverse effect on your skin.
10. Continued Care
Even once the tattoo is fully healed, you should continue to ensure the tattoo is cared for properly. Your skin and tattoos should be moisturised regularly and you should avoid too much direct sunlight to prevent fading of the tattoo inks and colours.
One of the most important things to remember is healthy skin means healthy tattoos.
Tattoo Aftercare Advice
Tattoo aftercare advice will change depending on the type of tattoo you have and the size of it. If you plan on having a tattoo done or have recently had one done, then you should check with your tattoo artist to ensure you are following the correct advice for your type of tattoo.
If you suffer from any type of skin condition, then you should consult with a doctor before having any tattoo work carried out.
Read more: Can you develop a tattoo allergy?